FTP vs. SFTP

It’s recently come to my attention that FTP (file transfer protocol) can cause some serious security concerns when developing and maintaining a Web site. Apparently, when files are uploaded or downloaded via FTP, all ASCII files are transferred as plain text. Therefore, anyone trying to spy on you through your FTP connection can easily see the content of any files you upload (including all of your passwords, etc. that you might have embedded in your files). Apparently, even the username and password you use to login to your FTP server are sent as plain text, making it rather easy for someone to pick those up while spying on you, as well.

Object-Oriented Programming – Parents and Children

This post is going to be a somewhat short abstract about the concept of parents and children in object-oriented programming (OOP). The first thing of which people new to OOP need to be aware is that parents and children are are not handled as logical parents and children, they are handled more like biological parents and children. It is best to think of the parent/child relationship in OOP as a concept of “inheritance” rather than a concept of containers and contained elements.

Creating a Header/Footer to be Used on all Pages

I referenced this in a post from a few months ago, but never bothered to expound on it. You cannot use cascading style sheets (CSS) to create headers, footers or menus that will be re-used on all of your pages. Instead, you have to use server-side includes (SSI).

There are a handful of ways to use SSI, and they are available in most all of the Web development languages used today. Although I think the use of repeating headers and footers is somewhat outdated, opting more for using templates that dynamically include your content, I’m going to try to teach you a few ways to include your headers, footers and/or menus on all of your pages.

Optimizing Web Pages

With the new Web site I’m developing drawing nearer to its public debut, and with the entire backend being written from scratch by me, I’ve become concerned with optimizing the output as much as possible.

While searching for some resources the other night (I was mainly looking for a Firefox add-on that would display a page’s load time, the way Netscape used to do – the only one I found has not been updated to work with FF3, yet), I came across two interesting resources.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips for Beginners

Last week Jefferson Graham from the USA Today newspaper ran a column about search engine optimization. He spoke with master of all things SEO at Google, Matt Cutts. They also filmed a video together and I’ve embedded it below. It’s worth a watch if you are trying to optimize your Web site or blog. It’s just the basics but it’s something many of my clients don’t think about. Especially the part about making sure that you use the words you want to rank for on your page.

Web Server Error Codes

Sometimes when trying to access a web page, an error code will appear. Have you ever wondered what that code meant? Here is a list of the most popular error codes and their description. The first thing you should do anytime you get an error code is to make sure that you have entered the correct web page addressed. Everyone has incorrectly spelled a company name or added too many periods.

401 – Authorization Required

This error code means that you must have special access to view this page. The developers may want only certain people to access this page. There are several ways to limit access to a web page, including password protection. You may get the “401 – Authorization Required” error message when you try to view a web page with limited access. (A web site may have a customized version of this error message, displaying “Access Denied” or “Unavailable.”)

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